Finish It Up Friday: More Hexagon Flowers!

 

hexagon flowers in various colors

Hexies, hexies, everywhere!

Hooray, not only is it finally Friday, but it’s the Friday before a three-day weekend! (Happy early Memorial Day to my American readers.) I’ll probably be spending the whole weekend, including the extra day, on a couple of freelance projects that snuck up on me … but it’s still something to celebrate. And I even managed to finish something, despite my schedule crunch. Yet more things to celebrate! 🙂

I mentioned two Fridays ago that I have become addicted to hexagons. This week, I finished six, count ’em, six hexagon flowers. Aren’t they pretty? I don’t know what I’m doing with them yet, but when I do decide, they’ll be ready to use. I think a few will turn into pincushions, coasters, or teal towel appliquès to sell at my craft fair booth. Little gifts like that tend to sell.

Basted hexagons and Sulky thread

I’m never quite happy with the amount of thread you can see after you whipstitch the hexagons together, so I decided to use some of my Sulky Holoshimmer thread. It has just the right amount of sparkle to it that if a stitch or two shows it looks like it was an “on purpose” embellishment. Or at least that’s what I tell myself. It’s pretty thin though, so I haven’t had too much trouble with stitches showing. As for the inside, I tried plastic template pieces, wash away stitch stabilizers, and a few other things that escape me, but I’ve decided cardstock templates are my favorite.

As the stack of basted hexagons got taller, they reminded me of a stack of poker chips. So, here’s a bit of Friday silliness for you:

poker game using hexagons as chips

Best. Poker game. Ever.

Linking up to Finish It Up Friday at Crazy Mom Quilts.

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WIP Wednesday: Dog Collars!

two sewn dog collars

At ARF’s Animals on Broadway fundraising walk and pet fair last Sunday, I saw lots of awesome dog items for sale. It gave me a hankering to make some collars. Thus, today’s works-in-progress (work-in-progresses?) are dog collars–3 of them to be exact. The first is fabric, the second is nylon web, and the third is knit. With bells. Collars need bells.

The fabric collar is the Olive’s Collar pattern from the book Liberty Love. I actually blogged about making it before on the Stash Books blog, but I feel like making another. The best part is that the pattern is available for free! You can download it using the link at the bottom of the Stash post. I know many local dog rescues appreciate when volunteers make collars for them; perhaps you might consider making one. I’m thinking of making two (one for Penny, one for the rescues) using a polka dot or geometric print. Maybe something in lime green? I’m feeling the lime green today.

This nylon web collar has been a UFO since 2008. It was supposed to be a gift for my mom’s {then)new dog, using a free pattern recommended by Camp Cocker dog rescue, but my old sewing machine didn’t like the nylon (it didn’t like much of any fabric really). I was so disgusted with the nasty-looking seams that I shoved the whole thing in my sewing basket and forgot about it.  Now that I have a nice, reliable Janome sewing machine, it’s time to revisit that mess of a collar. First step is ripping out all those old seams! You can even see them sticking out in my main image above–ick!

pom-pom yarn knit dog collar

Finally, knit dog collars are one of my staples for the craft fair junket come December. I keep them simple–just a little knit bit of color to slip on over the dog’s existing collar. I sew on a button for the closure. Easy peasy. This particular one is made of a pom-pom yarn that I think is discontinued now. I like how it looks like little snowballs (maybe I can cash in on the crazy popularity of the Frozen movie?). I have tons of these to make before November, so now’s a good time to get started. Too bad most of the dogs hate the bells (or maybe not too bad … bugging pets is fun!).

Linking up to WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced Modern Quilts.

 

dog sniffing collar

Penny approves of these new collars.

 

Finish It Up Friday: Zigzag Pot Holders

two zigzag pot holders

Did you know that pot holder is two words? I always see it written as “potholder,” and it looks right, but it’s incorrect according to the dictionary. Weird, huh? I thought that was a fitting bit of Friday trivia to introduce my latest finished pot holders.

Back in December, I held an impromptu class for the beginning sewists at work to make quick pot holder gifts. We were inspired by the pot holder project we saw in the book Stitch ‘n Swap (out next month, and a book I worked on!). It’s been about 5 months now, but I’m just now finishing mine.

The Christmas one was a class sample and I made it in a hurry. It sat without its binding for awhile. Nothing like a little Christmas in May!

Christmas zigzag pot holder

I like its wonkiness. 🙂

This floral pot holder was my favorite. I like to think of it as the girliest pot holder ever. So pretty … and such a good use of scraps from my Fresh quilt.

floral zigzag pot holder

Hanging by its loop on the wall

Between these and the auction quilt, I seem to have a thing for zigzags! Linking up to Finish It Up Friday at Crazy Mom Quilts. Have a great weekend everyone. Speaking off …


The ARF Animals on Broadway walk fundraiser is this Sunday! Penny and I will be walking for the first time, and she’s all ready with her ARF bandanna. If anyone is interested in donating to help dogs and cats in high kill shelters find new homes, you can find my page here. Thanks!  🙂

 

WIP Wednesday: The Auction Quilt

Auction rail fence quilt work in progress

Today’s work in progress quilt is one I’ve been calling the “Auction Quilt.” (Any suggestions for a better name? Seriously, I need to name it something for the auction program … )

Every year in October, on the feast of St. Ignatius of Antioch, my church does a dinner dance and live auction fundraiser to raise money for its ministries. This year, perhaps for the first time, they will be auctioning a quilt. A quilt that I’m donating. Eek. It’s a bit of a gamble since we’ve never tried to auction one before, and I’m sure we’ll get a fraction of its worth. I guess that’s always the dilemma when quilting for a cause. Still, part of me hopes to raise lots of money just to prove it can be done!

work in progress auction rail fence block quilt on bed

When I chose the pattern, I tried to think back to quick, easy quilts that my coworkers and I had done recently. We had just made the Gator’s Club quilt from the book Quilts from Textured Solids by Kim Schaefer for a sick coworker. It’s an adaptation of a rail fence block quilt, which got me to thinking how I could adapt the rail fence block too. I checked out Google and Pinterest, then I got out some graph paper and went to town, making the whole thing overly complicated. Alternate and inverted directions, color gradations, sections where I tried to make cross shapes (since it’s for a church) … when I got to the point where I couldn’t piece the rows without slavishly following my diagram, I knew I was golden.

block layout diagram for rail fence auction quilt

The auction coordinator and I decided to stick to blue, green, and white because those are colors that people don’t have strong opinions on. Orange, purple, and pink tend to be “love it or hate it.” I added a “no flowers” caveat  (that I later broke.) Basically, we wanted the widest audience. Of course, later a friend told me, “If you don’t have strong opinions about blue and green, that means you don’t love them either.” Another friend said the quilt looked like something a grandma would love and a grandpa wouldn’t object too (thanks, I think?).

Lots of dilemmas when you’re trying to maximize donations, really.

I’m actually pretty far on this one considering it isn’t due until October: the quilt top is now done, the pieced back has the jelly roll race section finished, and the binding is cut. Hallelujah!

Linking up to WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced Modern Quilts and Fabric Tuesday at Quilt Story. If you do have name suggestions, I’d love to hear them in the comments! Thanks!

WIP Wednesday: Aleita Shell knit sweater

Aleita Shell knit sweater in progress

I realized that I’ve yet to have a knitting-related post (it is Penny’s Purls, after all). So, here’s the latest project on my knitting needles: the Aleita Shell (pattern by Bonne Marie Burns). The yarn is Lorna’s Laces Shepherd Sport in Rockwell. I got the pattern from a back issue of Interweave Knits magazine–luckily it’s still available on Ravelry.

Rockwell color swatch, Lorna's Laces

Detail of Rockwell color (Lorna’s Laces Shepherd Sport yarn)

I must confess I have a phobia about knitting clothes. Three years ago, I tried to crochet a tunic and I screwed up so badly I had to cut the bodice off . (Trust me when I say, if a pattern says swatch, you swatch.) I have not attempted clothes since.

It was time for attempt #2. I chose the Aleita Shell because it was cute but not intimidating.

As for the yarn , you can’t go wrong with Lorna’s Laces. I also love Jimmy Beans Wool, which is why I had so many rewards points to use on skeins of the Shepherd Sport. So far the sweater is turning out pretty nice, but I haven’t gotten to the hard part yet …  and I’ve come too far to have it become another  tunic-turned-unfinished project!

If I’m lucky, I’ll have the thing done by fall, right when the leaves start matching the colors in the Rockwell yarn. That’s a happy thought.

Linking up to Work in Progress Wednesdays at Tami’s Amis.

Penny photobombed me. Apparently I took the best sunny spot on the bed.

Penny attempted to photo-bomb me. Apparently I took the best sunny spot on the bed.

Dogs and Quilting …

… don’t mix.

dogs in unfinished quilt blocks

I think the lesson here is that if you’re cooking dinner for your mom, and you’re puppy sitting, and it sounds like all the critters are getting along … then you should immediately run to put away the quilt blocks you left out on the living room floor.

dogs in unfinished quilt blocks

Because they’ll be all up in your business.

dog playing in quilt blocks

Lucky me, I already took a photo of the layout for the WIP Wednesday post before the puppy tornado blew through. Now I just get to painstakingly reassemble the blocks. The dogs look like they had fun at least.

Happy Mother’s Day everyone!

Finish It Up Friday: Hexagon Flower Pincushion

hexagon flower pincushion

Happy Friday! It’s a Finish It Up Friday for me, and I wanted to share my finished Hexagon Pincushion. A small project really, but, hey, finished is finished!

Several months ago, one of my quilter friends went to Quilt Market and brought me back a small pack of English Paper Piecing shapes from Paper Pieces. She warned me they were addicting, but I took that as a challenge. I’ve now got hexies coming out my ears and more on the way!

paper-pieced hexagons

Sneaking in some hexagon piecing time at work …

I made the little purple flower out of scraps leftover from my very first quilt (which is still unfinished itself, but that’s a project for another Friday). I didn’t have a project to use it on though,  so the hexagon flower got shoved in a drawer.

A few days ago, I pulled it back out. I needed a new pincushion and none of my other UFOs (unfinished objects) were close to the right size.  I had no pattern, mind you, and worked on it exclusively while watching superhero action TV shows with lots of distracting explosions. Which might explain why it’s lopsided. I like it anyway. It’s purple, which for me is an instant “What’s not to love?”

I also learned a valuable lesson from this pincushion: Don’t sew distracted. You end up with things like this:

distracted sewing mistake

This was supposed to be a circle.

Linking this up to Finish It Up Friday at Crazy Mom Quilts. Have a great weekend, everyone! Thanks for stopping by.